NYPD officer in off-duty fatal Brooklyn crash fired; 2 others on modified duty

WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn (WABC) -- The NYPD on Wednesday fired the police officer accused of killing a pedestrian in an off-duty drunk driving crash in Brooklyn.

Police say Nicholas Batka had been drinking with two other officers before he ran his SUV onto a curb in Williamsburg Saturday, striking a group of pedestrians.

Andrew Esquivel, a 21-year old MIT student from California, died in the accident.

Investigators returned to The Whiskey Brooklyn on North 11th Street Wednesday looking for possible surveillance video.

Because Batka has less than two years on the force, he is a probationary officer who is not required to face a departmental trial before termination.

"That type of behavior will not be tolerated," NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said. "We want to take a close look at those two officers to see what was going on in that establishment and others they might have visited during the course of that evening to determine how much they were drinking, and were they, in fact, driving after ingesting significant amounts of alcohol."

The two other officers were placed on modified duty, "for the good of the department," police said. Their guns and badges were temporarily taken away Tuesday morning.

Batka, 28, is charged with DWI and manslaughter.

"He's absolutely distraught and heartbroken," attorney Michael Farkas said. "And we're going to work very hard to make sure every fact in this case comes to light."

All three worked on the Manhattan Transit Squad. Batka refused a breathalyzer test at the scene, and witnesses said he tried to leave before they held him at the scene. null
Copyright © 2019 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.